UK public divided on euro but cash is still king

UK public divided on euro but cash is still king

People in the UK are evenly divided on whether they expect to be using the euro in shops five years from now, according to a survey conducted on behalf of Alliance & Leicester's commercial banking arm Girobank.

The annual cash usage survey found just over half of respondents (52%) expected the single European currency to have replaced pound sterling by 2008.

Respondents in Scotland and the south and south east of England seem most ready for the euro, with 60% and 61% respectively predicting that they will be using the currency five years from now.

The findings come after the Alliance & Leicester claimed the cost of converting its systems for the introduction of the single European currency could be more than the cost of dealing with the Y2K millenium bug.

Although there appears to be uncertainty over the future of the pound, the survey suggests that cash, in one form or another, will be around for quite a while yet. As many as 60% of adults expect to be using the same amount or more cash in five years time, with only one in eight (12%) saying they will be using less.

Gareth Williams, head of marketing services, Girobank, says: "Despite the advent of alternative methods of payment such as debit and credit cards, the future of cash seems assured."

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